Sensitivity to voices and the spoken word

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Bunni
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06 Aug 2008, 5:25 pm

I've looked for some information on this, but so far I've found none. I'm hoping someone with AS here can give some advice or at least just can relate. Perhaps you might know someone who experiences this as well. Just knowing there is someone else dealing with the same thing would be helpful.

My daughter is 14 and has AS and ADHD. She is a straight A student, in the gifted program, also has an IEP to insure accomodations for writing and her need for downtime, etc. She is very verbal, articulate, very smart.

What we are having trouble with is verbal communication. She is sensitive to tone of voice and some different voice types. She can also only handle a small amount of spoken conversation, instruction, etc. Past a few minutes her frustration escalates very quickly. In class she will zone out after a while, under pressure to sit there like everyone else, but sometimes she misses what's being said. She also admits that if information she needed was written, she'd hate reading it all too. SO, what is the intervention here other than just learning to tolerate more and more. Taping the teacher talking works to catch what she misses, we might try that, but then of course she'd still have to listen to the tape. This happens with both preferred and non-preferred topics. She gets to output as much as she wants, but the input is definitely the issue.

Some of this is due to the racing thought thing, she needs to get information out, but can't take any in. We joke that if we had a USB port installed in her head and just could upload all the info she needed, we'd be good to go. She agrees!

There are short periods of time when she is more available than others, but there is no pattern to it. That's what we call it when she is able to listen and have a conversation. She is either available or unavailable. There is not much in between.

Since installing a USB port into my daughter's brain isn't a viable option :), and I have not seen anyone talk about or refer to such a thing, I decided to finally ask. Does anyone else deal with this, and if so what do you do to handle it?


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06 Aug 2008, 5:40 pm

I have AS and ADHD I have trouble listening as well. I don't know if I experience what your daughter experiences but there are several things I have troube with.

Sometimes when I have to listen to someone for more than a few minutes I either get distracted or I slip into my own world where I can hear the voice and recognise the sounds, but I don't understand it. It's hard to explain, it's like I hear it but it doesn't sink in.

Other times I won't hear what someone has said and then about 10 minutes later I "hear" it inside my head.

I'm sorry that I can't give you any suggestions to help your daughter, maybe asking her teachers to make things more precise and to the point when they are talking? For some reason NT's feel the need to say tons of information that doesn't seem relevent to people with AS (in my experience anyway) In my IEP it says to avoid talking to me for longer then 10 minutes because I will probably not hear all of it.



Postperson
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06 Aug 2008, 7:56 pm

I had something like this written on my dx. Apparently I only hear the first part of what is being said, process that, then tune out. Is it auditory processing disorder or something like that?



poopylungstuffing
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06 Aug 2008, 9:56 pm

I have auditory processing problems in addition to sensitivity to the tone and rhythm of people's voices.....certain voices are so uncomfortable to listen to that i just can't grasp what they are saying...I am too fixated on their voice and the real or percieved vibe it sends out.



Bunni
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06 Aug 2008, 10:02 pm

Postperson wrote:
I had something like this written on my dx. Apparently I only hear the first part of what is being said, process that, then tune out. Is it auditory processing disorder or something like that?


I don't know what it is...all I know is it kills our communication for the most part and with high school coming up, there is going to be more information for her to hear. She thinks she simply needs to build up tolerance, but at the same time, I see that she is having an incredibly hard time doing that.


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Danielismyname
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06 Aug 2008, 10:03 pm

It's a common thing to have happen (it's an ASD thingy). There's nothing one can do but avoid the voices that hurt.

O, and if she becomes overwhelmed due to too much information incoming (which will be made worst by people talking around her in class as she's trying to listen to the teacher), there's nothing one can do for this either other than changing the environment.



Last edited by Danielismyname on 06 Aug 2008, 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Postperson
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06 Aug 2008, 10:06 pm

here's a link, if you feel like reading something

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auditory_p ... g_disorder



Danielismyname
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06 Aug 2008, 10:44 pm

Of note, auditory processing disorder and ADHD aren't diagnosed if one has a diagnosis of Asperger's (this is with the DSM-IV-TR).

They are assumed to be a part of the parcel.



Last edited by Danielismyname on 06 Aug 2008, 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bunni
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06 Aug 2008, 10:45 pm

Thanks for the link and that is somewhat helpful information. Honestly I don't know how she gets through school at this point! I also don't know why I never noticed this as part of the AS. A couple of things fit, many others don't.

One funny thing as a work around is to use closed captioning when you watch tv, and she does that all the time! Sadly they say online school would be best for college, and I'm pretty sure that's not what she's expecting. I will have to look into this further to see what we can do for a workaround in school.

Thanks again for your help!! :)


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poopylungstuffing
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09 Aug 2008, 9:05 am

Ironicly, I find it really difficult to watch videos on you tube where people are sorta 'lecturing about something"....many "aspie" and ADD videos...for example.....are kinda like that....the tones of voices really get to me.
I talk the way I do, in part so that I can tolerate the tone of my own voice...though I would not be suprised if my voice was annoying to others...especially when my volume control is truned off and I am repeating the same thing over and over again.


I remember it being pretty hellish in school...I simply never ever knew what was going on, unless it was handed to me written down.



Magicfly
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09 Aug 2008, 10:26 am

Sometimes I find when listening to voices my eardrums seem to physically 'click/pop' on each syllable, when this happens it's very distracting and makes it hard to listen to the words, this effect seems to be related to volume, the louder the speaker the more likely this effect is to happen.

I don't know if this is AS or not, but I have always been very sensitive to sounds.



Jenk
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09 Aug 2008, 11:07 am

Same here, end up hands to ears, squinting and trying to focus somewhere near their faces whilst replying "No its not you... its just... carry on." One word chalk boards hanging round their necks please.